Coming to America: Olympus XZ-10 makes stateside debut


posted Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 2:10 PM EDT

Last month, Olympus Europe announced an interesting camera that included many of the features typical of premium compacts, but not the larger sensor and body sizes. The Olympus XZ-10 design includes a bright lens, physical controls, manual and priority exposure modes, and a raw file format. At the time, Olympus USA said nothing about the XZ-10, and it wasn't clear if it would ever be arriving in the U.S. market. Today, we know that it will soon be sold here, as the company's U.S. division has now formally announced the camera.

The full story can be found in our Olympus XZ-10 preview, but briefly, its 26-130mm equivalent lens offers a maximum aperture from f/1.8 at wide angle to f/2.7 at telephoto. While the XZ-10's 1/2.3-inch backside-illuminated CMOS sensor is no larger than that of a typical compact, it does boast a more realistic resolution of many, at 12 megapixels. That should translate to a larger photodiode size, and hence lower noise levels, than you'd expect from a typical jam-in-more-pixels compact camera.

The Olympus XZ-10 has a smaller sensor than many of its premium compact camera rivals, but has more than a few other features that differentiate it from typical compacts.

Available in the U.S. market from March 2013, the Olympus XZ-10 is priced at US$400 or thereabouts. The only body color in this market will be black, sadly; the white and brown body colors found in other markets won't be available here. More details in our Olympus XZ-10 preview.